Randy Jimenez, long-time LAHS wrestling coach, died of an apparent heart attack yesterday, April 5. He was 43.
“Coach Randy was here, one hundred and ten percent, for the kids. He gave everything back to this program and wrestling. He had a big heart and he wanted nothing more that to see students be successful. He’s going to be dearly missed,” athletic director Kim Cave said.
In the eleven years that “Big Daddy” Jimenez headed the wrestling program, he shaped the culture of the team. Not only did he push his athletes to become better wrestlers, he advocated for a familial environment where the team would be seen as everyone’s second family.
“This is family, it really is, we are family,” junior co-captain Gino Vega said in an interview last February. “[Coach Jimenez was] like a father to me.”
During his many years coaching, Jimenez built a unique wrestling program unlike any other sports programs in the school, connecting with his players both as a coach and a friend.
“We’re all family [on the team],” senior Jason Durana said in an interview last February. [Coach Jimenez] learned to create a bond with us. During practice he [was] a coach, but outside of practice we [became] friends. We became a family that practiced tough love.”
In the end, Jimenez was known for his faith in his wrestling family, athletes and coaches alike.
“Just remember, quote me for saying this: I will put this team against everybody, and anybody, anytime, anywhere,” he said in an interview last February.